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Published on: 27 Feb 2017 by samuel
The adrenal glands are located right above the kidneys. They produce hormones that help the body deal with stress. When your adrenal glands are not functioning properly, they cannot produce the appropriate hormones your body needs to maintain health. This can result in a host of unpleasant symptoms called adrenal fatigue. There are many reasons for the adrenal glands to become fatigued, including periods of prolonged or intense stress or chronic or acute infections, especially respiratory infections (bronchitis, influenza or pneumonia).
What Hormones Are Produced by the Adrenal Glands?
The adrenal glands produce a number of hormones, including adrenaline, aldosterone and cortisol. Adrenaline is a hormone that is released by the body when you feel a strong emotion. It is often called the fight or flight hormone. Aldosterone is a hormone that helps maintain sodium and water levels in the body which helps regulate blood pressure. Cortisol is a hormone that is part of the stress response. It helps regulate metabolism and provides anti-inflammatory effects.
Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
Adrenal fatigue can cause emotional, mental and physical stress. This occurs when the adrenal glands cannot produce the number of neurotransmitters and hormones.
Difficulty Waking Up Each Morning
Adrenal fatigue sufferers often wake up tired even after getting ample sleep. In the beginning phase of adrenal fatigue, you can be under a lot of stress which causes your cortisol and adrenaline levels to be high. These higher levels can disrupt your natural cortisol production cycle, which can alter the state of alertness at night thus preventing a restful night’s sleep.
In the later phase of adrenal fatigue, cortisol levels will decline. This results in low glucose levels in the morning which can wake you up early. Cortisol helps to regulate glucose levels and when your cortisol levels are low, the body can use too much glucose while you sleep, resulting in hunger pangs. Typically, those in the later phases of adrenal fatigue will become chronic late night eaters to help overcome low glucose levels during the night.
Developing good sleep practices can help improve your sleep. When you are sleep deprived, you should avoid watching a lot of television, surfing the internet or playing on your smartphone close to bedtime. The light emitted from these devices can interfere with the production of melatonin. For best results, turn off all devices an hour before bedtime. You will also want to create an environment conducive to sleep. Make sure that your bed is comfortable enough, lower the temperature a couple of degrees, use room darkening curtains and use a white noise generator to mask background noise. Finally, set a regular bedtime and waking time that you follow every night.
Inability to Handle Stress
Adrenal fatigue sufferers often find that the slightest amount of stress can cause them to feel overwhelmed. If you are having a difficult time dealing with emotional or physical stress, it may be associated with low hormone levels. When you are stressed, the adrenal glands release hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) to help regulate the body’s response to stress.
When hormone levels are low, your strength, awareness and focus can become diminished. This can cause you to experience feelings of apathy, lack of enthusiasm, disinterest, anxiety and irritability. These feelings are another reason that so many adrenal fatigue sufferers feel tired all the time.
Learning some stress relieving strategies can help you better cope with the stress you are feeling. Meditation helps you to calm your mind and relax the body. Other techniques that can help ease stress include deep breathing exercises, essential oil usage and light exercise.
If you always feel tired, you should look at the underlying causes of your tiredness. When your adrenals become depleted, they can no longer produce the neurotransmitters and hormones you need to maintain energy levels.
There are many ways to handle chronic exhaustion. First, you must improve your diet by eating a nutritious diet filled with healthy fats, lean proteins and colorful fruits and vegetables. This will ensure that you are getting the nutrients your adrenal glands need to cope with excess stress and heal from exhaustion. You will also need to exercise. Many people think that exercising will cause them to feel more fatigued; however, exercise increases respiration and heart rate and will leave your feeling energized.
There are a number of nutraceutical formulas that can be used to correct neurotransmitter imbalances that occur in the body. These formulas help to relieve a number of symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue, including chronic exhaustion, anxiety, depress, stress and sleep issues. The formulas use natural ingredients that have been clinically shown to improve patient biomarkers.
The adrenal glands control sodium and fluid levels in the body. When the adrenals become fatigued, they can no longer produce aldosterone. When aldosterone levels become diminished, important minerals will be leached from the body (sodium, magnesium and potassium). Craving salty foods is the body’s way of trying to correct these mineral imbalances.
Additionally, aldosterone helps to regulate blood pressure. When aldosterone levels drop, your blood pressure can decrease. By eating more salt, you can increase your blood pressure. Instead of eating tons of salt, which can be bad for the body, take a vitamin and mineral supplement to supply your body with the minerals it needs to remain healthy.
Adrenal fatigue occurs when you are exposed to significant amounts of stress. This stress can cause the adrenal glands to work overtime and no longer able to produce the hormones the body needs to regulate itself. If you are suffering from the symptoms listed above, contact a functional doctor to help you learn how to improve adrenal functions naturally. A functional doctor will help you understand how diet, exercise and supplements can work together to improve hormone levels in the body.